Crawley Town 1 Harrogate Town 3: Simon Weaver happy for opponents to continue underestimating Aaron Martin

Having ended his four-month League Two barren patch last weekend, Harrogate Town striker Aaron Martin made it two goals in two games during his side's win at Crawley Town.

Sunday, 7th February 2021, 9:37 am
Updated Sunday, 7th February 2021, 10:18 am
Aaron Martin celebrates after giving Harrogate Town the lead at Crawley. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The 29-year-old striker opened the scoring on 13 minutes to set the Sulphurites on their way to a 3-1 success over Leeds United's FA Cup conquerors, taking this tally for the season to five in the process.

Prior to netting against Newport County seven days earlier, Martin had scored just once in his previous 23 appearances, and not registered in a league fixture since September 19.

But Town boss Weaver said post-match that even when his target-man is not among the goals, he still contributes plenty, insisting that he is happy for those outside of Harrogate's bubble to continue underestimating the hard-working centre forward.

Aaron Martin competes for the ball during Town's 3-1 League Two success.

"It was a good finish and he's playing such a major role for us, he's a tireless runner. He is often underestimated, but we are happy for people to do that and it's another goal to his name," Weaver said.

"I think he just needed that weight off his shoulders last week with that header, and then there's another great finish today.

"His contribution to the club is massive. Yes, he had a dry spell, but he's got the personality and the tenacity to be able to see that off and come out the other side scoring goals.

"Two on the bounce now will do his confidence the world of good."

Town took the lead when some excellent work by Martin down the right saw him flick the ball over Tony Craig, then Joe McNerney, before releasing strike partner Josh March.

The Forest Green Rovers loanee showed good composure to pull the ball back perfectly for Harrogate's number 10 to take a touch and force the ball under Glenn Morris from eight yards out.

The away lead was doubled on the half-hour-mark, Josh March converting from the penalty spot after he had been brought down in the box by a stretching Josh Wright as he ran on to Josh McPake's pass infield from the left.

Things got even better for Harrogate in first-half stoppage-time. George Thomson's corner was cleared only as far as Josh Falkingham, who found Simon Power some 30 yards out. The Ireland under-21 international skipped past one man on his way towards the Crawley area before unleashing a low strike that was deflected into the net by Craig.

The hosts pulled a goal back shortly after the re-start, Tom Dallison ramming the ball home from close-range at a corner following James Belshaw's instinctive save from a McNerney effort.

Will Smith was then sent-off for a professional foul on Tom Nichols as the Red Devils forward looked to run clean through on the away goal, but despite their numerical disadvantage, Town saw out the remaining 23 minutes of normal time without too many scares.

Victory lifts Weaver's troops six places and up to 14th position in the League Two standings, 12 points clear of the relegation zone and 11 shy of a play-off berth.